Attention has been especially drawn to this institution recently by the celebration of the centenary of Lazzaro Spallanzani, the illustrious Italian biologist, with whose name it is henceforth to be associated. Vaschide gives a brief account of its interesting history and of its present magnificent scientific equipment. In the thirteenth century, as the Hospital of St. Lazarus, it was founded for lepers and lunatics; it became subsequently for a time a general infirmary, and in 1754 was reserved exclusively for lunatics. In the early part of this century, under Galloni, it was in this asylum that some of the earliest attempts were made to teach the insane on scientific principles—moral treatment. From 1871 onwards, its reputation becomes world-wide; in 1877 Prof. Tamburini became superintendent, and to him and his collaborators we owe numerous valuable contributions on experimental psychology and other subjects dealing with the insane. The laboratories are numerous and well appointed, and among the most interesting buildings are the museum of antiquities, with its collection of appliances which were formerly used for quieting lunatics (chains, collars, “cap of silence” [cuffie del silenzio], etc.), and the museum of psychiatric anthropology, which contains a fine collection of 1250 skulls of the insane.
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